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Mamadou Sakho Told to Leave Liverpool to Save Career

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Mario Balotelli and manager Didier Deschamps advised the Liverpool defender to make a January exit to a club that can give him playing time.

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The defender many expected to anchor Liverpool's defense both now and into the future has been absent from a first-place start to the Premier League season.

Mamadou Sakho, suspended late last year for a failed drug test (before eventually being cleared) and sent home early from preseason training in the United States, has been iced from the first team this year by manager Jürgen Klopp.

Now, his peers are calling for him to save his career and move on from Liverpool as soon as possible. Mario Balotelli, for example, said he wanted Sakho to join him at Nice.

"I speak with him from time to time," said Balotelli, who may have had his own agenda in discussing Sakho's potential exit. "I said to him, ‘What a waste a player like you is not playing.' ... In January, it would be good [to leave]."

The advice of France coach Didier Deschamps was perhaps a little more serious for Sakho, who likely hopes to continue his international career.

"There has to be another solution for him to find another club in the January window," Deschamps said.

Meanwhile, the defender has tried to remain positive despite being relegated to a reserves role through the first couple of months. It's an upbeat attitude fans have grown accustomed to during his time at Liverpool.

"I am very, very well," Sakho told French TV. "I have re-found my form. I still have my smile."